- Joshua and Ngannou agree to 10 round bout
- Ngannou vows to test AJ’s chin
- Joshua respectful of ex MMA champion but confident of success
Anthony Joshua’s fight with Francis Ngannou has now been officially announced to take place on Friday, March 8.
Joshua and Ngannou meet in London press conference
The bout between former heavyweight boxing world champion Joshua and former UFC heavyweight world champion Ngannou is scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The announcement comes after both fighters signed on for a ten-round boxing match, bringing together their diverse combat sports backgrounds. The event promises to be a spectacle, and tensions are already rising as the fighters exchanged some bold words during a press conference in London.
Ngannou, known for his devastating knockout power in the UFC, expressed his intention to test Joshua’s chin, stating, “I heard he doesn’t have a chin. I don’t know if it’s true or not. I hope I have the opportunity to test it out, that’s my wish.” Meanwhile, Joshua was reserved in his statements, vowing to conquer Ngannou’s mind, declaring, “You have to take someone’s soul, you have to take someone’s spirit. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Originally set to face Deontay Wilder in March, Joshua’s plans were altered by Wilder’s unexpected loss to Parker in December. Ngannou stepped in after an impressive performance against Tyson Fury, where he narrowly missed a victory in a non-title bout.
Despite initially dismissing Ngannou as a “gimmick”, Joshua has changed his stance after witnessing Ngannou’s near-upset against Fury. Joshua, drawing on his own rapid rise in the boxing world, emphasised that experience isn’t the sole determinant of success in the sport.
The new boxing powerbroker in Saudi Arabia, Turki al-Sheikh, added excitement to the announcement by suggesting that the winner of Joshua vs. Ngannou could potentially face the winner of the upcoming undisputed title fight between Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on February 17 in Riyadh.
Joshua vs Ngannou betting
Joshua goes into the bout as favourite, however, after his impressive showing against Fury, some pundits believe that, in time, Ngannou is capable of making waves in the heavyweight division. Whether he can do this in only his second boxing bout against a fighter of Joshua’s calibre and experience is open to debate though.
At the time of writing, Unibet have Joshua priced at 1/4, with Ngannou 14/5 and a draw 18/1.
Punters need to study Ngannou’s performance against Fury and Joshua’s last couple of fights, especially his win over Otto Wallin in December.
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